More in Outdoors
This double grill will sit on a solid concrete slab foundation. To prep the space for concrete, clear the area of any debris or existing concrete. Mark the area for excavation 9' long x 3-1/2' wide with upside-down spray paint. Dig out the marked area 2' deep.
To prevent your island from shifting in freezing temperatures, dig four holes inside the foundation area 42" deep. These holes will be filled with concrete and serve as piers below the frost line.
Once the area is cleared, frame for concrete using 2" x 4" doug fir and wooden stakes for reinforcement.
To provide the concrete with structural support and prevent cracking in the foundation, run rebar inside the framing and tie together using tie wire.
Pour concrete into the framing and pier holes. Level the concrete and allow it to set up overnight.
Using metal stud track and truss screws, construct the frame for your grill. We started with a base that was 42" x 78" for the grill area with a 30" x 30" side addition for our smoker. Inside your frame, run an upright stud every 2' for support. We ran ours 36" high with an additional 6" along the backside for the bar-height countertop. Top off your frame with the metal track. Leave cut outs to accommodate the size of your grill and smoker and run studs every 2' for support.
Once the steel frame is in place, screw 4' x 8' x 1/2" cement board into the outside to prep for brick and counter tops.
To give this grill a Chicago feel, we chose to face the outside with reclaimed brick. To ensure straight lines, measure bricks and snap a level chalk line for each row across the cement board. Using thinset, attach bricks one row at time and use shims to hold them in place. When the bricks are set up, grout with a mixture of mortar and Portland cement, then clean the joints so the mortar mixture is set back a little from the brick.
To prep for the concrete countertops, attach brackets along the backside of the grill to support the counter overhang (Image 1). Apply construction adhesive to the cement board and set the counter tops in place, checking to make sure the reveal is even on all sides (Image 2).